3 Killer Ladders Better than Cardio

What an amazing wedding this past weekend in South Carolina. I got to see my buddy Daniel Woodrum and his beautiful wife Brittney “tie the knot”.

I’ve known “D-Wood” for about 4 years now and I still remember him telling me, “I think she’s the one”. That was running through my head when they came down the aisle at the end. I even gave him a fist bump:

 

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And yes it’s true, I was wearing a tie. 

Anyway, it was about a 5-1/2 hour drive, so my wife and I had plenty of opportunities to chat (especially because we didn’t bring our kids). She asked me a very interesting question…

“How can I do “cardio” but without doing “cardio” like treadmills and all that? How would you do that?”

I’m surprised she asked me this because I “preach” it all the time, but one of my favorite ways is using a variety of ladders. 

You’ll hit multiple muscles (you can’t do that on a treadmill), you’ll improve your heart health and you’ll burn excess flub. 

And with ladders, you can go at your own pace, rest when needed and adjust accordingly (just as if you were on a treadmill and you needed to speed up or slow down depending on how you’re feeling). 

A ladder is when you do either one more rep or one less rep for each exercise with every superset or circuit. 

Let me be blunt… they rock. Just keep in mind they “look” easier on paper so don’t underestimate them. They are much shorter than traditional cardio, but MUCH better. 

Interested? Awesome. 

 3 Ladders Better Than Cardio…

LadderLadder #1 – Swings and Pushes

It’s a classic stand-by. It’s pretty simple. Choose a weight for the swings that challenges you, but it’s not your max. For the pushups, choose a challenging pushup but not a pushup that is the hardest for you. 

Do the following superset resting when needed. In the first superset, you’ll do 1 rep of each exercise. In the next superset, you’ll do 2 reps of each. Continue in this fashion until you complete 15 reps of each exercise. 

KB Swings (1, 2, 3, etc., etc. up to 15)
Variety of Pushups (I like Decline-Close Grip Pushups) (1, 2, 3, etc. up to 15)

 

 

Ladder #2 – Bodyweight Density and Ladder Mix-up

This uses a combination of density training and ladders. It’s longer and it’s ridiculous. 

Do the following circuit as many times as possible in 15 minutes, resting as needed. In the first circuit, you’ll do 1 rep of each exercise. In the next circuit, you’ll do 2 reps of each exercise. Continue in this fashion until you reach 15 minutes.

Burpee (1, 2, etc., etc. adding 1 more rep with each circuit)
Bodyweight Squat (1, 2, etc. etc. adding 1 more rep with each circuit)
Spiderman Pushup (1/side, 2/side, etc. adding 1 more rep with each circuit)
Jumping Jacks (1, 2, etc. etc. adding 1 more rep with each circuit)

Repeat for 15 minutes.

Ladder #3 – Dumbbell Madness

This time, we’re going backwards…

Do the following circuit, resting as needed. In the first circuit, you’ll do 12 reps of each exercise. In the next circuit, you’ll do 11 reps. Continue in this fashion until you complete 1 rep of each exercise.

Note – Use a moderate weight that challenges you, but certainly not close to your max weight.

*DB Jump Squat (12, 11, etc. etc. down to 1)
Renegade Row (12/side, 11/side, etc. down to 1/side)
1-Arm DB or KB Swings (12/side, 11/side, etc. down to 1/side)

*You can replace these with DB Squats

Now that’s cardio done right. 😉

Have a great week and crush it!
Mikey Whitfield, Master CTT

Leave A Reply (2 comments so far)


  1. kevin pearce
    3 years ago

    you cant beat a ladder mike


    • Mikey
      3 years ago

      I know, right? So fun and so simple!

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